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Archive for avgust 2016

Pining for the partisans

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economist.com

Pining for the partisans

Europe | 2 hours 34 mins ago

KOKI the parrot is a shrewd old bird. He used to belong to Marshal Josip Tito, Yugoslavia’s longtime communist leader, who died in 1980. Koki lives on the Croatian island of Brioni, where Tito spent six months of the year, and where the villas are still reserved for Croatia’s leaders. If visitors are lucky, Koki will swear at them, or squawk “Tito! Tito! Tito!” If Koki had a bigger vocabulary, he would doubtless enjoy revealing Croatia’s darkest state secrets, which he has surely overheard. On August 16th Croatia lurched into a new election season, and it is a measure of the country’s frozen politics that some of the key campaign issues hinge on conversations Koki might have eavesdropped on decades ago.

Take the murder of Stejpan Djurekovic, who was shot and hacked to death with a meat cleaver in Germany in 1983. Mr Djurekovic was an émigré active in Croatian nationalist circles. On August 3rd a German court sentenced Josip Perkovic and Zdravko Mustac, two former Yugoslav secret-service agents, to life imprisonment for organising his death.

Croatia’s main parties, the Social Democrats and the Croatian Democratic Union (HDZ), disagree furiously about what this means. Zoran Milanovic, the head of the Social Democrats, who was prime minister from 2011 until this year, fought hard to prevent the extradition of the two men now convicted. So supporters of the HDZ say that the Social Democrats were protecting the men who killed a Croatian nationalist. The Social Democrats retort that the killers had close links to Franjo Tudjman, independent Croatia’s first prime minister in 1991 and the co-founder of the HDZ.

The two parties are distinguished not so much by their current platforms as by their histories. The Social Democrats claim the anti-fascist credentials of Tito’s communist partisans, who battled Nazi occupiers in the second world war. In contrast, many in the HDZ admire the wartime Ustasha, a Nazi-quisling movement. The German verdict has added an extra layer to their historical quarrels. Another recent spat concerns HDZ ministers who attended the unveiling of a monument to a Croatian nationalist whose accomplishments included murdering the Yugoslav ambassador to Sweden in 1971. Some saw this as poor form.

All this folklore distracts from more important issues. Croatian politics have been a mess for months. The previous election was in November, but the resulting HDZ-dominated coalition government collapsed in June over a corruption scandal involving the national oil company. The HDZ then jettisoned its leader, who had allowed the party’s Ustasha-admiring elements to the fore. The new leader, Andrej Plenkovic, is a moderate member of the European Parliament. He wants to wrench his party back to the centre, and says he deplores the populism that is sweeping Europe. As for historical issues, he says, Croatia needs “sober debate” about the crimes of both Ustashas and Communists.

One reason to stick to the past may be the two parties’ dreary records in the present. The Social Democrats had a disastrous economic record during their years in power, from 2011 until January 2016: the economy shrank four years out of five. In the years before that, the HDZ gained a reputation for corruption, which its most recent term did nothing to dispel. The HDZ is trailing in the polls, and neither party will gain enough votes to govern alone after the September 11th election. Some analysts predict a grand coalition between the two major parties, though Mr Plenkovic says this is “not an option”. The obsession with history makes it perhaps less odd that, in a televised campaign debate, Mr Milanovic attempted to win over HDZ voters by proudly revealing that his grandfather had been an Ustasha.

Such tactics appal many. Boris Miletic is the head of a regional party that runs Istria, the area where Koki lives (see map). Tourism is a mainstay of the economy; this season, Mr Miletic says, has been “fantastic, perhaps the best since the war” (referring to Croatia’s conflict with Serbian forces from 1991 to 1995). But then his mood darkens. Arguing about Ustashas and the past is “really embarrassing”, he says. “We need to talk about the future.” He lists reforms which the HDZ and Social Democrats have promised for years: decentralising power, rationalising territorial divisions, and so on. Unfortunately, in Croatia, the main political parties seem incapable of anything but parroting the same old lines.

Written by Mika

26. avgusta 2016. at 18:18

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Shedding new light on Slobodan Milosevic

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ottawacitizen.com

Sibley: Shedding new light on Slobodan Milosevic

JERRY LAMPEN / AFP/Getty Images

DECADE IN PICTURES Former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic is led into the courtroom of the UN War Crimes Tribunal in The Hague, July 3, 2006, for his first appearance before the body. Milosevic will represent himself at the hearing, where he will be asked to answer charges of war crimes committed during the 1998-99 Serbian crackdown on ethnic Albanians, according to a lawyer who met him on Monday. Milosevic, who will become the first former head of state to be prosecuted but the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY), faces life behind bars if convicte

Remember Slobodan Milosevic? Sure you do. The former Serbian president was one of the bad guys of the 1990s.

When Yugoslavia disintegrated into civil war, Serbs, Croats and Muslims indulged in a horror show of mutual mass murder. With the Serbs tapped as the biggest villains, the Western media focused in on Milosevic and vilified him as a modern day Hitler. He was blamed for starting the war and accused of genocide and ethnic cleansing against Bosnian Muslims and Croats.

After much handwringing and rhetorical outrage, Canada, along with other Western nations dispatched thousands of peacekeepers to quell the slaughter, and took part in a NATO bombing campaign against Serbia. Nonetheless, about 140,000 died in what are referred to as the Yugoslav wars between 1991 and 2001.

Seems it was the wrong call, at least to some extent. Earlier this year, in a decision that received minimal media attention, the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia (ICTY) exonerated Milosevic.

Milosevic, the tribunal ruled in late March, wanted to prevent the breakup of Yugoslavia, and while he initially supported Bosnian Serb leaders to that end, there is no evidence he was part of a “joint criminal enterprise” to victimize Muslims and Croats.

“Based on the evidence before the Chamber regarding the diverging interests that emerged between the Bosnian Serb and Serbian leaderships during the conflict and in particular, Milosevic’s repeated criticism and disapproval of the policies and decisions made by … the Bosnian Serb leadership, the Chamber is not satisfied that there was sufficient evidence presented in this case to find that Slobodan Milosevic agreed with the common plan” to forcibly remove Muslims and Croats from territory claimed by Bosnian Serbs.

Indeed, Milosevic “openly criticised Bosnian Serb leaders … (for) committing ‘crimes against humanity’ and ‘ethnic cleansing.’”

No doubt, Milosevic would have appreciated those words. Only he wasn’t around to hear them. After losing power in 2001, a new pro-Western Serbian government turned him over to the ICTY. Then Canadian Supreme Court justice Louise Arbour, acting as tribunal prosecutor at the time, indicted him as a war criminal. He spent five years locked up only to die of heart failure in 2006 in the midst of his trial.

The media that characterized Milosevic as a moral monster – often cast as the “butcher of the Balkans” – has effectivly ignored his posthumous exoneration. Searches of Google News and other databases turned up no stories in the Canadian media and only a few in other Western outlets.

The ICTY probably likes it that way. The Milosevic case is buried in a 2,950-page ruling the tribunal issued March 24 after convicting former Bosnian Serb leader Radozan Karadzic of war crimes.

Karadzic’s 40-year prison sentence garnered widespread media coverage, but it seems few journalists turned to page 1,235 to read the nine pages devoted to Milosevic.

Not every journalist, however. “The butcher wasn’t a butcher after all,” Scott Taylor, the editor of Esprit de Corps magazine writes in a recent edition. “The ICTY makes it clear that Milosevic actually helped to force the Bosnian Serb leader to sign the 1995 Dayton Accord Peace agreement.”

The Milosevic ruling also vindicates those who didn’t think he was the villain that Western powers, especially the United States, made him out to be.

“The idea that he started (the war) is completely false,” says James Bissett, who served as Canada’s ambassador to Yugoslavia in the early 1990s and testified on Milosevic’s behalf. “I don’t think he was guilty of wanting a ‘Greater Serbia’ or genocide.”

Will those who vilified Milosevic admit they were wrong? Not likely.

As Bissett puts it: “Even in the early days, it was apparent that most of the media reporting about the cause and course of the Yugoslav fighting was biased. In effect, the Serbs were branded as the bad guys, and any news developments were interpreted on that basis.”

It seems that when governments need a bad guy to justify questionable actions, propaganda supersedes the truth.

Robert Sibley, a veteran Ottawa journalist, holds a PhD in political science from Carleton University, where he occasionally lectures on political philosophy.

Written by Mika

21. avgusta 2016. at 07:38

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Biden Visits Serbia to Talk Security as Vucic Keeps Russian Ties

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bloomberg.com

Biden Visits Serbia to Talk Security as Vucic Keeps Russian Ties

Gordana Filipovic

U.S. Vice-President Joe Biden is visiting Serbia to push for progress in Belgrade’s relations with the breakaway Kosovo province, one of the key conditions on the Balkan state’s path to joining the European Union.

Biden, who will meet Serbian Premier Aleksandar Vucic and President Tomislav Nikolic, will also discuss upholding stability in southeastern Europe, a region that witnessed the continent’s worst violence since World War II with the bloody disintegration of the former Yugoslavia.

The U.S. has “recognized and encouraged a constructive role of our country” in “maintaining the regional stability of the Western Balkans,” Foreign Minister Ivica Dacic said after meeting Charles Kupchan, Senior Director for European Affairs at the U.S. White House National Security Council Monday.

Serbia’s relations with the U.S. have been strained due to a lack of progress in apprehending the killers of three American-Albanians from Kosovo, the Bytyqi brothers, after U.S.-led NATO forces pushed Serbian troops out of the province in a 1999 bombing campaign. The U.S. is also seeking the perpetrators who demolished the U.S. embassy building in central Belgrade in February 2008, when protesters attacked embassies of countries that recognized Kosovo’s independence.

Vucic, who started a new four-year mandate on Aug. 11 after winning April snap elections, has pledged to prepare Serbia for EU accession by 2019. He is also trying to balance his pro-European agenda by maintaining strong ties with Russia, its Orthodox Slav ally and the biggest international supporter of Serbia’s refusal to recognize Kosovo’s independence.

Balancing Act

“My concern is the future of Serbian foreign policy and the intention to continue with the balancing act,” Bosko Jaksic, an independent foreign policy analyst, said by phone, noting that Russian Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev will visit Serbia in a matter of weeks. “Both the U.S. and Russia want to block each other’s influence in the region. Biden will want to hear all about Serbia’s purchases of Russian weaponry and the Russian humanitarian center in the city of Nis, while Medvedev will want to hear what was discussed with Biden.”

The April election brought more members of the pro-Russian opposition to parliament, including the Serbian Radical Party of nationalist leader Vojislav Seselj, who was acquitted on charges of crimes against humanity for his role in the wars of the 1990s. Seselj, who’s called on Serbs in the U.S. to support Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential election, will lead a rally in central Belgrade Tuesday to protest against Biden’s visit.

Russia was the eighth biggest investor in Serbia between 2005 and 2013, with nearly 600 million euros ($676 million) worth of foreign direct investment, three times that of the U.S. Still, U.S. investors dominate the debt market with purchases of government bonds, making the country vulnerable to policy changes by the Fed.

Serbia “won’t be able to continue with the balancing act as it makes progress toward the EU,” Jaksic said. “Prime Minister Vucic said in his program there is no intention of any deeper integration with Russia.”

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Written by Mika

16. avgusta 2016. at 08:44

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Western hypocrisy and the right to self-determination

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theduran.com

Western hypocrisy and the right to self-determination – The Duran

Of the many political and military conflicts in the northern hemisphere since 1918, many have been caused and most have been exacerbated by the poor political geography employed to create a plethora of new states, carved from the remnants of great land empires. The land empires in question are the Russian, Ottoman, German and Austrian.

Whilst the proximate cause of the Second World War was unbridled fascist aggression, a crucial underlying cause was countless disagreements over borders between new states. Whilst German fascist aggression remains the underlying reason for the world war, it is advisable to remember that during much of the 1930s every central and eastern European state with the exception of Czechoslovakia was ruled either by a right wing government or in the cases of Latvia, Lithuania, Austria and Hungary, by a far right wing government. There were few angels in the disputes which arose during Europe’s darkest decade.

Looking to the Ottoman Empire, without defending its many crimes against ethnic and religious minorities, one can see that in its Arab provinces at least, Ottoman vilayets (administrative units/provinces) tended to align much more closely to religious and tribal loyalties than did the states invented in the Middle East through the Anglo-French mandate system established in the Sykes-Picot agreement. Take for examples the three Ottoman administrative divisions that comprised what become the state of Iraq. Rather than a single unit made up of different sectarian groups that have caused huge problems for every successive Iraqi government, there were clear divisions. The vilayet of Basra encompassed a large Shi’a population, the vilayet of Baghdad included the historically cosmopolitan region around the one time capital of the Arab Caliphate, whilst in the north the vilayet of Mosul had a predominantly agrarian Sunni population. Smash these provinces together into a unitary state and endless problems start. In light of recent Iraqi history this mistake of history speaks for itself.

Turning to Russia, the system of Tsarist gubernias far better corresponded to the nature of local identities and ethnography than did the Soviet republics which replaced them. The place where this error of geography has had the most dire consequences is in the territory of the former Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic which grouped together former Tsarist gubernias in a haphazard way which after the dismemberment of the Soviet Union, fostered deep political divides within the country, producing ethno-linguistic tensions, increased latent religious tensions and since 2014 bloody civil war.

History has shown that no borders are sacred and no governing unit is sacred. If this is so for the crumbled political units of the past, why are some so naïve to think current political units are sacred? No political unit has an inherent right to exist. People and cultures have an inherent right to exist, and sovereign states have the right not to be invaded by an external power unless this is done for legally defined reasons which ultimate derive from the concept of self-defence.

Because the problems created in the aftermath of the First World War still haunt the world today, the only viable solution is national self-determination and the most sincere method of establishing this is by allowing for referenda for a population inclined to political change.

Most states as well as organisations like the UN in theory favour national self-determination. But the hypocritical devil lies in the details. All nations are theoretically equal but to employ the Orwellian adage, some are more equal than others. If a group of people are held captive in a crumbling state which certain powerful countries support, their right to national self-determination is frowned on. If however a people are attempting to secede from a state that is considered a foe or disagreeable to the Great Powers, the right to self-determination will be applauded and often aided.

This is why NATO supports the independence of a deeply divided Kosovo yet spat on the self-determination of Crimea, which voted in overwhelming numbers to return their sovereignty to their historic country.

So long as these sort of double standards are applied, people throughout the world will be denied the rights the UN has granted them. It’s a sad state of affairs that it is often the most vulnerable people who get kicked in political football matches.

Written by Mika

7. avgusta 2016. at 22:33

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War crime blame game not so cut and dry

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thechronicleherald.ca

ON TARGET: War crime blame game not so cut and dry

SCOTT TAYLOR Published July 31, 2016 – 3:06pm

First it was the release last month of Britain’s Chilcot Inquiry findings, which concluded that the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq was an unnecessary mistake. While Chilcot cited former British prime minister Tony Blair, and former U.S. president George Bush for falsely claiming that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction, Canadians could smugly adopt an ‘I told you so’ attitude, as our Liberal government of the day never bought into the WMD claims.

By not joining in Bush and Blair’s bogus self-defence invasion of Iraq, Canadians can rightfully absolve themselves of the horrific death toll that has resulted in the violent aftermath of Saddam Hussein’s ouster and subsequent execution.

Canadians should feel a lot less smug about a ruling that came down this past March from the International Criminal Tribunal for the Former Yugoslavia in The Hague. Buried in a 2,590-page ruling on former Bosnian Serb leader Radovan Karadzic, convicting him of war crimes and sentencing him to 40 years in prison — was an astonishing exoneration of former Yugoslav president Slobodan Milosevic.

For those old enough to remember the violent civil wars that tore apart Yugoslavia between 1991 and 1995, the name Milosevic was linked in the Western media to all of the horrific ethnic cleansing and genocide allegations emerging from that bloody conflict.

Milosevic was dubbed ‘The Butcher of the Balkans’ by the British press and the Serbs were vilified as the sole culprits in a multi-factional civil war. Thousands of Canadian soldiers were deployed as peacekeepers to the former Yugoslavia, and their eyewitness accounts painted a far more complex equation than the media’s simplistic “Serb = bad, non-Serb = good” equation. As Canada’s most famous peacekeeper, Maj.-Gen. Lewis Mackenzie stated while posted in war-ravaged Sarajevo, “All factions here have blood on their hands.”

Truth often matters little when shaping propaganda, and it was far easier to project all the evil onto the Serbs, in the personage of Slobodan Milosevic. This came in particularly handy in early 1999 when NATO was looking to prove its continued validity as a military alliance in a post-Soviet era.

With Slovenia, Croatia, Bosnia and Macedonia all having successfully seceded from Yugoslavia, the Albanian ethnic majority in the Serbian autonomous region of Kosovo was in the midst of an armed insurrection in pursuit of their own independence. This was a low-level insurgency and the original perpetrators — known as the Kosovo Liberation Army — were a collection of criminals and terrorists.

The Yugoslav authorities were using security forces to quell the armed insurrection, much the same as Turkey was simultaneously deploying troops to suppress armed Kurdish separatists in eastern Anatolia. In fact, the casualty count in Turkey would have already been higher than the Kosovo conflict, but NATO was not about to bomb its own ally.

Instead, Canada took a lead role in the NATO bombing campaign to assist the Albanian Kosovo rebels. Milosevic — as the Yugoslav president, was painted as a genocidal maniac, and likened to a modern day Hitler.

This was something Canadians could justify having our combat pilots wage war against — even if those targets engaged included civilian utilities and infrastructure in Serbia itself — i.e. not in disputed Kosovo.

Milosevic’s presidency survived the 78-day NATO campaign in 1999, but he was ousted following the October 2000 elections. The subsequent, pro-West Serbian government arrested and handed over Milosevic to stand trial for war crimes and genocide at the ICTY in The Hague in June 2001.

In the interest of full disclosure, I met with Milosevic in his prison cell at The Hague in August 2004, and after a six-hour interview I agreed to testify in his defence.

Having covered extensively the wars in Croatia, Bosnia and Kosovo, Milosevic felt I could add an eyewitness perspective to the fact that all factions had been guilty of wanton bloodshed, not just the Serbs.

Milosevic died in 2006, before I testified, and before the ICTY could conclude that he was not in fact guilty of those horrific crimes of which he had been accused. In fact, in their ruling against Radovan Karadzic, the ICTY makes it clear that Milosevic actually helped to force the Bosnian Serb leader to sign the 1995 Dayton Accord Peace agreement.

The butcher wasn’t a butcher after all, and Bush and Blair have yet to face any consequence for their ‘mistake’ of invading Iraq in 2003 that has cost to date far more innocent lives than the entire Balkan Wars.

Written by Mika

6. avgusta 2016. at 10:25

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Robert Fisk: No, Aleppo is not the new Srebrenica

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independent.co.uk

Robert Fisk: No, Aleppo is not the new Srebrenica

Robert Fisk

As armed rebels – “terrorists” in the eyes of the regime – tighten their grip on the country, at one stage holding 60 per cent of the land, government troops hit back, seizing control of the main roads and laying siege to major towns.

The ruthless dictator, supported by Russia, accuses foreign powers of assisting his rebel enemies. There are massacres by both sides. NGOs fear for the tens of thousands of civilians trapped amid the fighting, while Western powers threaten to strike at the dictator unless he abides by a humanitarian ceasefire.

Sound familiar? Of course. I’m describing Kosovo in 1998, the year before Nato launched its war against Slobodan Milosevic’s regime in Serbia.

The Kosovo Liberation Army – assisted and advised, as we now know, by the CIA – was threatening to seize all of Kosovo, the Serbian province in which Milosevic’s regime had long committed human rights abuses and ethnic murder against its Muslim majority. Milosovic accused Albania of sending weapons into Kosovo with the help of Western powers. All true.

The difference between then and now is that, in 1998, the Western powers were itching for a war with Serbia. Today, those same Western nations will do anything to avoid going to war with Syria.

Syria’s civil war: Rebels launch operation to break Aleppo siege

For Albania, of course, read Turkey. For Milosevic, read Assad. For the KLA, read the Free Syrian Army, Jabhat al-Nusra or Isis or any of the other outfits which we either love or hate in Syria.

But it’s worth remembering how much the humiliation of Bosnia was driving the West to war in Serbia. And it’s not, I fear, by chance that a UN official (widely quoted and, as usual, anonymous) said this week: “Aleppo is the new Srebrenica.” Good soundbite; bad history.

Aleppo’s tragedy is unique and terrible and totally different from the massacre at Srebrenica, the Bosnian mass slaughter of more than 8,000 Muslims by Christian Serb militia in 1995 while Western UN troops watched and did nothing.

In Aleppo, Sunni Muslim militias are fighting largely Sunni Muslim soldiers of the Syrian army whose Alawite (Shia) leader is supported by Shia Muslim Hezbollah militiamen and Shia Muslim Iran. Only three years ago, the same Sunni militiamen were besieging the surrounded Syrian army western enclave of Aleppo and firing shells and mortars into the sector where hundreds of thousands of civilians lived under regime control.

Now the Syrian regime’s forces are surrounding the Sunni militiamen in the eastern enclave of Aleppo and firing shells and mortars – and dropping bombs and explosives – into the sector where hundreds of thousands of civilians live under rebel control. The first siege didn’t elicit many tears from the satellite channel lads and lassies. The second siege comes with oceans of tears.

For, since 2011, the West has been demanding the departure, overthrow or death of Bashar al-Assad, blaming him for 90 per cent or 95 per cent, or – the latest figure I’ve heard – 98 per cent of the 300,000 civil war deaths, or 350,000 deaths or – again, the latest figure I’ve heard – 400,000 deaths. And before you dismiss this as a cynical game of statistics, let me add that I suspect the real death toll may be more than 450,000.

Aleppo bears the brunt in another day of carnage and defiance

But if the West is correct, then Assad’s forces have killed well over 400,000 of the dead – which is odd when the fatalities among the regime’s own army alone come to well over 60,000 – a military secret, but a real statistic which the regime does not wish to make public.

And if the West’s figures are correct, then the rebels – including the horrific Isis, whom we want to destroy, and the horrid Nusra whom we probably want to destroy, and the kindly Free Syrian Army and New Syrian Army and Syrian Democratic Forces, whom we like very much because they are Kalashnikov-toting “moderates”, who want to destroy Assad – have killed, at most, only a few thousand of the war’s victims.

This is absurd. There are no "good guys" among the Syrian warlords; yet still, despite all the evidence, we want to find them. At the same time, we can’t really work out who the "bad guys" are.

Of course, Isis – or the “so-called Islamic State” as the BBC likes to refer to them, for they are neither Islamic nor a state – must be liquidated. But the American supplied and reinforced Syrian Democratic Forces – which are never referred to as "so-called" by the BBC, even though they are neither a force (since they rely on US air power), nor democratic (since they are not elected), nor Syrian (because they are largely Kurdish) – must be supported.

Having thus divided the cult-like evildoers of Isis from the groupuscules of “moderates” – be they old Dave Cameron’s 70,000 ghost warriors or just CIA clones – we are having problems with the Nusrah-whoops-changed-our-name-to-Sham-and-no-longer-with-the-al-Qaeda chaps.

Because they hate Assad, but they also kill Christians, blow up churches, chop the heads off their enemies and do other rotten things which make it hard to like them, even though they are financed by Qatar – one of our wealthy "moderate" Arab Gulf allies – as opposed to Saudi Arabia, another of our wealthy "moderate" Gulf allies, which still unofficially supports the horrific Isis. And it’s the Nusra-Sham-no-longer-al-Qaeda rebels who are now besieged in Aleppo, along with 300,000 civilians.

Trouble is that our wealthy American allies – who may or may not be “moderate”, depending on who wins the presidential election – are going to have two candidates who will go all out over the next three months to demand once more the destruction of Bashar al-Assad.

We will not only be told all over again that his regime is responsible for almost the entire death toll of the Syrian civil war, but that he maintains the cruellest torture chambers in the world. Yet I promise you that the US presidential contenders won’t remind Americans that, until a few years ago, they were happily dispatching dark-skinned folk of the Muslim faith (including two Canadians) to endure the horrors of those very same torture chambers via a “security” agreement with the Syrian government. Rendition, I think it was called.

And the parallels with Kosovo? Well it’s Hollywood. A movie. A simple plot.

In 1998, we had to go to war to save the Muslims of Kosovo from the Hitler of Belgrade. In 2016, we are going to be urged to go to war with the Hitler of Damascus – although whom we are supposed to save this time is less clear. The Kurds? The armed “moderates”? The Syrian people – millions of whom now live outside Syria? Isis? Surely not the latter.

Or will we be saving Sunni Saudi Arabia and Sunni Qatar from disintegrating under the pressure of the war they have been stoking in their weary battle against the Shia of Iran and Lebanon and, yes, Iraq?

No, unlike 1998, we will not go to war for Syria. In Kosovo, we bombed from the air until Milosovic was told by Yeltsin’s Russia that he was on his own. But Putin’s Russia is not going to tell Assad he’s on his own.

And besides, we don’t have Nato armies waiting on the Syrian border to invade the country if Assad surrendered. We used to have the Turks. Remember them? Wasn’t Nato’s most powerful army just itching to move into Syria on our behalf? Not any more, it’s not. And we all know why.

We can also forget “red lines”. Both sides in Syria have, I suspect, used gas and we didn’t go to war, even though we put all the blame on the regime. But we didn’t go to war for the Kurds when Saddam gassed them in 1988 – it became one of the smaller excuses for the Blair-Bush invasion of Iraq 15 years later. And after suggesting the Russians have just dropped gas in Idlib province, you can be sure we’re not going to war with Moscow.

So amid the anguish of Syria’s people, let’s not offer more lies to the Arabs. We are not going to save Aleppo, even if the Assad regime forces the rebels there to surrender (as they did in Homs, with scarcely a whimper from us). And I don’t think we are going to destroy Assad – indeed for several months before the US elections reached their climax, the "Assad-must-go" routine mysteriously faded away.

Yes, it’s time we stopped lying to the people of the Middle East. And it’s time we stopped lying to ourselves.

Written by Mika

6. avgusta 2016. at 10:21

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US-Croatia War Crimes: Largest Act of Ethnic Cleansing since the Holocaust

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globalresearch.ca

US-Croatia War Crimes. Krajina: Largest Act of Ethnic Cleansing since the Holocaust

By Carl Savich

On August 4, 1995, the Croatian Government, a proxy and satellite state of the U.S., launched the largest act of ethnic cleansing of the entire Yugoslav conflict of the 1990s.

From 250,000 to 300,000 Krajina Serbs were driven from their ancestral homes in the largest act of ethnic cleansing since the Holocaust, since the end of World War II in 1945.

Krajina Serb refugees listed the names of 2,650 Serbs who were killed in this unprecedented act of genocide. But because the U.S. Government and media orchestrated and planned this genocide and ethnic cleansing campaign, it was covered-up and censored and suppressed.

The Krajina genocide resulted in the destruction and elimination of an entire people, the Krajina Serbs.

The Genocide Convention was meant to prevent the kinds of war crimes and crimes against humanity that occurred in Krajina against the Serbian population. An entire people was left without a trace.

The Krajina ethnic cleansing orchestrated by the U.S. Government and media was the only genuine and real genocide that occurred during the Yugoslav secessionist conflicts of the 1990s. But because the U.S. planned and organized this genocide, it has been censored and suppressed.

Serbian houses, homes, businesses, churches, and property were systematically targeted in an organized genocide. Serbian civilians were murdered. Pro-Nazi and Ustasha graffiti were painted on destroyed and burned Serbian houses and property.

The systematic destruction demonstrated planning at the highest governmental levels of the Croatian government and military.

Ustasha imagery and references to pro-Nazi leader Ustasha Poglavnik Ante Pavelic were sprayed on vandalised Krajina Serb homes.

Serbian refugees were forced to evacuate their ancestral lands and flee to Serbia and Bosnia-Hercegovina. Their homes and property were taken over by Croats.

This was the largest refugee crisis since the Holocaust, since World War II.

The roads and streets were flooded to overflowing with Serbian refugees as an estimated 250,000 to 300,000 Krajian Serb refugees were expelled from Krajina. This act of ethnic cleansing constituted genocide, the total elimination and destruction of an entire people and culture.

Why wasn’t U.S. President Bill Clinton tried as a war criminal for genocide? Why wasn’t U.S. Ambassador to puppet and proxy Croatia Peter Galbraith tried for war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide? Why wasn’t U.S. political and military leaders charged with war crimes and crimes against humanity? Why weren’t genocide charges brought against the U.S.?

The simple answer is: The U.S. controls the instruments of power and coercion and the media.

As a result, the largest act of ethnic cleansing since the Holocaust goes unpunished. It is not even documented or acknowledged. No justice is rendered for this crime of genocide. The U.S. and its Croat proxy and satellite gets away with mass murder and genocide and ethnic cleansing.

The largest act of ethnic cleansing in Europe since World War II occurred in Krajina beginning on August 4, 1995. It was the only genuine and real act of genocide committed during the Yugoslav conflicts of the 1990s. Because it was planned and orchestrated by the U.S., however, it remains censored and covered-up. The Krajina genocide represents a genocide that has not been acknowledged or punished.

Written by Mika

5. avgusta 2016. at 15:13

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